Saturday, August 18, 2012

59) Bosnia twenty years later a story of loss from Slatina


1) Do you remember where were you when you realized the war was imminent? What town and what location in the town?

I was seven years old and leaving my first grade class to go home. Some of my friends were telling me that I should hurry home, there was a war coming. I had no idea what this meant. When I got home I wanted to do my homework but my mom said there was no need, I wouldn't be attending school the next day. I was confused and scared.

 2) Do you remember where you were when the war broke out, specifically?

I was in my home that I shared with my mother, two younger sisters and grandparents. My father was away, I did not know where at the time. We were huddled in the hallway of the lower level of our house. The windows were boarded up. I remember asking my mom if she knew whether a bullet could penetrate the walls.

3) Where were you when the war came to your town? Were you at home, relatives, friends, work?

We were in our home for many days, I don't know exactly. At one point my mother opened the small bathroom window to see if the neighbors were still in their home and realized that we were one of the few families that had not left the village yet. We got a ride from someone into town but my grandparents refused to leave their home. We had to leave them behind. We stayed at a hotel in town, sharing the dining room floor with what seemed like hundreds of people who were in the same situation as us.

 4) The most memorable event of the war for you was?

There were many, but this is one I often replay in my head; it was late in the night when we heard grenades falling, everything shook. My mother told me to run to a friend's house that had a basement and she would be behind with my sisters. I ran on my own through the night with all my might. Whistling noises of the grenades seemed to surround me, and I wondered if I was a good enough person to be spared.

5) What made you hopeless during the war?

I kept thinking that somewhere, someone must have seen the movies the reporters were filming and that eventually we would be saved. The day never came.

6) What gave you hope during the war?

My mother. She was brave and never let us see her fear.

7) Did you lose anyone close to you during the war?

I lost my youngest sister who was three and a half years old. I watched her die as my mother carried her in her arms as we ran to the hospital. A grenade fell in front of our home. She was the only one killed, many were injured.

Were you wounded during the war? Where were you wounded? Anyone close to you wounded?

I was wounded. I was grazed by pieces of shrapnel on my neck, wrist, chest and toes. They were not serious injuries.

 9) Your biggest loss during the war was?

My sister. My innocence. My family that seems to be falling apart.

10) What was the hardest part about the war?

Not having a normal childhood.

11) Did you leave the country during the war?

We left the country in 1993 and ended up in Gasinci Refugee Camp where we reunited with my father.

12) 20 years later, what do you think of what happened?

I have no opinion. I am still confused.

13) Are things better or worse than what you expected 20 years later?

For me, better. I am in Canada where I feel safe.

14) Do you think war will return to BiH?

Not likely.

15) What do you think the future of BiH will be?

I think it will take another country ruling our people to make things somewhat right. Right now it is being run by ass holes that have learned nothing. The country is full of corruption.


  1. Update: Mother of Nermin Divovic --- Dzenana Sokolovic --- has appeared in court to testify against General Ratko Mladic.

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